Verdict reached in Kenny Bartley trial

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CAMPBELL COUNTY Jurors reached a verdict in the Kenny Bartley trial after deliberating for just under three hours on Friday.

The jury found Bartley not guilty of the first degree murder of assistant principal Ken Bruce. Instead, they convicted him of the lesser-included charge of reckless homicide.

Jurors also found him not guilty of felony murder and not guilty of the attempted murders of principal Gary Seale and assistant principal Jim Pierce.

The jury convicted Bartley of possession of a gun on school property with the intent to go armed, possession of a controlled substance - a lesser included charge of possession of a schedule IV substance with intent to sell - and possession of a schedule IV substance with intent to deliver.

The judge set Bartley's bond for $7500. He posted bond and went home with his family Friday afternoon.

Jo Bruce, the widow of Assistant Principal Ken Bruce, said the justice system failed her today.

"All I want anybody to think about when they go to bed, is my husband, Ken Bruce, whose hands were up in the air, body bent over, with a gun in his back, shot mercilessly," Bruce said.

Bartley's defense attorney Greg Isaacs said the normal sentencing range for reckless homicide is two to four years, and said the gun and drug charges are usually one to two years. He said he's likely already served his time behind bars.

Bartley's mother, Rita Broyles said she was overcome with emotion, and was feeling scared and stressed all week.

"I'm just glad to have my son back home. He's got a second chance, he's a good kid. I'm just in shock...it was more than I expected," Broyles said.

Isaacs said Bartley was overcome with emotion after the verdict was announced and said he's grateful to the jury for their hard work.

"We asked them to look at the evidence and follow the evidence and make a correct decision for a just verdict. The jury listened and they have made a decision that has changed this family and this young man's life," said Isaacs.

An official sentencing date hasn't been set yet.

Bartley was accused off shooting and killing assistant principal Ken Bruce and wounding principal Gary Seale and assistant principal Jim Pierce in 2005.

Bartley pleaded guilty to the shootings in 2007, but a judge granted him a trial in 2011 after attorneys argued he hadn't been able to discuss the deal with his parents and he was pressured into it.

Bartley's family was overjoyed at the verdict, saying they couldn't wait to get their son back.

Ken Bruce's widow, Jo Bruce, said the court system failed her family and the families of Jim Pierce and Gary Seale.


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